After a year or so of thinking of getting hens, we’ve finally done it. I don’t honestly know know why it took so long, they’re not half as complicated or as expensive to organise as we thought.

After looking at lots of websites and pet centres, we finally got a second hand chicken coop which we patched up and painted. We did invest in some fencing which could be electrified if necessary but we haven’t done that yet due to the added expense of the getting the electricity setup but we’re not sure that we really need it anyway.

We found a lovely hen supplier in Galway called www.henpecked.ie that supplied us with our 8 hens. We went for 8 completely different breeds. Not just so that we could tell them apart but just to try them out. We collected them in cardboard boxes and after a few days of ‘settling in’ and the difficult task of naming them all, they are now well and truly part of the family and we all love them to bits. There’s great excitement every morning when the kids run out to open the coop and see if there are any eggs! Honestly, even cleaning out the coop every week only takes 5 minutes. We’ve all learnt so much about caring for these beautiful animals and also the incredible difference between the taste of a fresh egg and a shop bought one.

I would highly recommend getting hens. Between the cost of the hens, the fence, the feed and the straw (for the floor of the coop), we did spend nearly 200 euro which was alot but we did get eight hens but if you were only getting two hens, the costs would be alot less. You really don’t need that much space for them in your garden. Most small gardens could easily hold a small coop and run for just two hens and you will quickly recoop (parden the pun) your costs in fresh eggs!

Do you have hens?

Can you tell us about your experience of them?